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#200818 - 04/20/11 08:08 PM ungrounded outlets  
Merlin  Offline
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 171
NW Indiana
I got called to a house today to make some repairs that the buyer's inspector sited. Most issues were minor and resolved, except one. I have two rooms that were added on a few years after the house was built. These two rooms are the problem area. Nearly all of the outlets have no ground. I found that most of the grounds were either twisted together in box or cut off short. None were hooked up. Well, I was able to resolve all but three.

Now here is my issue. What is the code regarding this issue? Is there any way around getting extremely in depth with this? Can I install gfi's in these locations or what is recommended? Two of them have grounds hooked up now but still unable to aquire a ground continuity back to panel. The third, has the ground wires cut back so short that I cant get to them. Thanks for your input.


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#200819 - 04/20/11 10:48 PM Re: ungrounded outlets [Re: Merlin]  
HotLine1  Offline

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,878
Brick, NJ USA
406.4 (D)(2)allows GFI devices to be installed where no EGC is available within the device box.


#200832 - 04/21/11 01:09 PM Re: ungrounded outlets [Re: Merlin]  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,140
If you can get the ground wire under a screw in the back of the box it gets you started. Then a self grounding receptacle will work.
Did they, at least. get them all twisted together to continue the ground from box to box?

If you can get a 1/2" or so, you can also use one of those push on connectors we have been talking about. Then you can pigtail on as much wire as you need to tag the box and get to your devices.

Greg Fretwell

#200847 - 04/22/11 09:39 AM Re: ungrounded outlets [Re: Merlin]  
Niko  Offline
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 356
Campbell, CA
I would recommend a rewire of that room. Remember if you are the last to touch that installation then you are liable.

I am always careful with these hack jobs.

Be kind to your neighbor, he knows where you live

#200858 - 04/22/11 09:25 PM Re: ungrounded outlets [Re: Merlin]  
HotLine1  Offline

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,878
Brick, NJ USA
I have to agree with you on a rewire being the ultimate solution. However, I believe Merlin is seeking ideas for compliant solutions other than a rewire.

Hopefully Merlin will follow-up on the suggestions made herein.


#200865 - 04/23/11 10:11 AM Re: ungrounded outlets [Re: Merlin]  
Merlin  Offline
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 171
NW Indiana
Thanks for all of the great input. I am going back to attempt to get the remaining three fixed. If not, I will have to install the gfi's. A rewire is not really an option, due to this is the sellers responsibilty. They are not willing to go that route if any other option is available. ALthough I would love to because this is a D.I.Y. special. Whoever wired it, had no clue what they were doing.

The sad part about this issue is that it was an issue when the current owner bought the house. They were told that another electrician fixed the problem. Sadly, I know he never attempted based on what I am finding. I know the guy and would of never thought he would do that. I guess that is why I now serve some of his previous customers.

Thanks again!

#200882 - 04/25/11 08:37 AM Re: ungrounded outlets [Re: Merlin]  
harold endean  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
Boonton, NJ
Around here there was a period of time, around the 60's where they EC's would take the grounding wire and run it outside the box, wrap them all together and install them under a bolt and nut through the bottom hole in the metal box. That might be all well and good, but when you went to loosed the nut on the inside of the box, you could not re-tighten it. You were left with a loose grounding connection and no way to fix it without removing the box.

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